CBI told to take viscera samples of Asthana

CBI told to take viscera samples of Asthana

There is no need for a parallel probe, says SC

A bench comprising Justices D K Jain, V S Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi asked the magistrate, who is probing Asthana’s mysterious death in Dasana jail in Ghaziabad on Saturday, to submit his report within eight weeks. “The magistrate nominated by the district judge, Ghaziabad, will submit its report in eight weeks to this court through the district judge,’’ the bench said.

The apex court also asked the Uttar Pradesh police to provide adequate protection to all the accused and witnesses in the case in which some judges were allegedly involved.

Court rejects plea

The court rejected a plea by senior advocates Anil Diwan and Prashant Bhushan to hand over the case to an independent agency or a retired top police officer.

“Supervision of the probe by retired IPS officers like Prakash Singh or Kiran Bedi would instill public confidence,’’ Bhushan said.

However, the apex court said since a magisterial inquiry has already been announced by the Uttar Pradesh government, there cannot be any parallel probe.

Asthana, a treasury officer at the Ghaziabad court, was arrested in April 2008 in connection with the alleged siphoning off of Rs 23-crore provident fund of Class III and IV employees in which names of a number of 36 judges from various courts, including one from the Supreme Court, had figured.

It was on September 23, last year, the Supreme Court ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the incident.